Does the Curtailing of Press Freedom affect Internet Connectivity in Ethiopia?



A United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) report has recently placed the country at 151 out of 157 in terms on internet connectivity making it one of the least countries with internet penetration.

Ethiopia has around 100 million people second only to Nigeria in terms of population but has a meager 1 – 2 percent internet penetration.

“A lot of African countries’ ICT sector officials complain that they are not getting sufficient budget for ICT projects,” said Andrew Rugege, the ITU’s regional director for Africa. “Private investors in the sector must be encouraged and this can help to prompt the African countries’ status into a better position.”

Even so, the need of internet and broadband access is there in the country. But legislation has been seen as somewhat a hindering factor.

Is this due to the country’s policies on internet freedoms?

Recently the country is planning to put up a legislation framework that will be able to monitor activities on the internet. The Information Network Security Agency (INSA) will look to investigate ‘suspicious’ networks, computers, websites, television, radio and social media that would negatively affect the well being of the country.

Such piece of legislation usually deters those who want to use the internet to voice their concerns. So even in the event that the country would see increase in its internet penetration rate, will the users feel free to indulge in its use?